The Red Sox have agreed to terms with veteran infielder and designated hitter Justin Turner, a source told MLB.com’s Marc Feinsand on Sunday. The club has not confirmed the deal, which would be for two years and worth about $22 million, according to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Pasan.
Turner got off to a slow start to the 2022 season, hitting just .168/.226/.242 with one home run in his first 26 games. While that performance raised questions about whether the veteran was on the decline at age 37, he quickly turned things around.
Over his last 102 games dating back to May 10, Turner slashed .306/.380/.488 with 12 homers, 32 doubles and 68 RBI. That .868 OPS ranked 13th among major league qualifiers, placing Turner just behind Austin Riley and Pete Alonso and ahead of Carlos Correa and Nolan Arenado.
After serving as the Dodgers’ primary third baseman the past few seasons, Turner started just 66 games at the hot corner in 2022, while starting 61 at DH. Since 2020, he has a -1 outside average above third, and his arm strength ranks in the 28th percentile this season, according to the stat.
According to reports, Turner will likely spend most of his time at the DH spot or at first base, with Rafael Devers a mainstay at third base for Boston. The move gives the Red Sox a promising replacement at DH after the underachieving J.J.
Turner, a 14-year veteran, first signed with the Dodgers in February 2014 after the Mets did not release him after four seasons in Queens. With a redesigned swing, Turner quickly became an integral part of his new club. His 133 OPS+ is fifth in Los Angeles Dodgers history (minimum 2,000 plate appearances).
The deal adds another former Dodger to the 2023 Red Sox ranks, with outfielders Quique Hernandez and Alex Verdugo and outfielders Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin also currently on Boston’s roster.